With the average price of a London property being £457,072 (a rise of more than 19% over the last year), it's no surprise that the affordability of houses is increasingly a topic of concern. Homeowners who are considering moving to a larger property, because they need extra space, for example, are discouraged when faced with high moving costs. The option to stay put and build up then, becomes appealling.
Stamp duty and tax rates which came into effect in December 2014 have added to the cost burden for many home movers at the top end of the market. Stamp duty affects the homebuyer immensely, as it makes moving even more expensive- not only in terms of rising prices, but also the associated costs. The average price of a London property is now close to the £500,000 barrier that allows Stamp Duty Land Tax rise from 3% to 4%, which adds at least £5,000 to the cost of buying a new home.
Interestingly, London accounts for 42% of the total paid on residential properties in 2013/2014, even though only 15% of houses bought were in London. That means that a disproportionately high percentage of Londoners are affected by high tax rates.
So, if you need extra space, is moving house still the best option? If you examine the difference in cost between a three bedroom and a four bedroom house, and compare them to the costs of extending or converting, then you would most likely agree that moving isn't the better option.
In Richmond for example, the average price of four bedroom property currently is 82%% (£500,000) higher than that of a three bedroom house. In Hammersmith and Fulham, it's 24% higher, which equates to £322,000. As the average cost of a loft conversion is £53, 477, upsizing, (as opposed to converting your attic) can cost you three times as much.
Admittedly, we can't rule out other reasons for moving to a large property- a home mover might want a bigger garden. Indeed, a four-bedroom property may have additional bathrooms that the home mover needs. However, not only are 4 bedroom houses becoming more expensive, but making the move from a 3 to 4 bedroom property pushes stamp duty tax into a higher band. This resulting in moving costs of, £105,000 , for example, in Hammersmith and Fulham.
|Estate Agency Fees||1.5%|
|Solicitors fees (Selling)||£500|
|Energy Performance Certificate||£120|
|Mortgage Arrangement Fee||£1000|
|Land Registry Fee|
(50% reduction if submitted electronically)
|£500k - £1m||£540|
|Solicitors fees (Purchase)||£500|
|Removal Costs||£500 per day|
|Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) on purchase price of property||£250k - £500k||3%|
|£500k - £1m||4%|
|£1m - £2||5%|
|ESTATE AGENTS SELLING FEES (1.5%)||SDLT PURCHASE FEES||TOTAL MOVING COSTS|
|Hammersmith & Fulham||£19,818||£82,181||£105,929|
Islington, Muswell hill, Stoke Newington
|Ealing / Chiswich||£13,530||£63,319||£80,779|
|Willesdon Green & Golders Green||£10,957||£52,807||£67,694|
Landmark Lofts estimates that over 500,000 homes across London could be sitting on conversion potential with an untapped value of £70 billion, and so there is a huge opportunity for homeowners to take advantage of their attic space.
A popular reason for moving property is needing more space, and by converting your attic, you can create up to 20% more space in your property. As the 'Our Projects' page on our website shows, a loft conversion is a great use of space for a university student returning home, a home office, a man cave, a hobby room, a nursery, a pod rooms and many more.
As the average London flat has around 700 square feet of space, not much space for a family, the need to upsize is easy to understand. An average London terraced house is larger at 1,100 square feet and the average semi-detached has about 1,200. For houses where a loft conversion is possible, this can create 20% more living space, perhaps even more with planning consent.
At Landmark Lofts, we specialise in creating bespoke Loft conversion that will cater to the needs of our clients, but we also manage the complex build, so our clients can experience a hassle-free loft conversion experience.
Click here to view our beautifully finished lofts and extensions in homes across London.
Landmark Lofts is part of the Landmark Group - the only group in London specialising in the project management of loft conversions, extensions and refurbishments to include a Chartered Building Company (CIOB), Chartered Architectural Practice (RIBA) and to be regulated by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). The Landmark Group specialises in the project management of loft conversions, extensions and refurbishments.